The National Archives’ War Cabinet wants you tweeting!

By Rachel Hayward | 09 December 2010

Twitter screenshot showing The National Archives War Cabinet Twitter stream
© The National Archives
Teaching World War Two? The National Archives' World War Two UK War Cabinet, London twitter feed wants you!

The National Archives’ UK War Cabinet twitter feed @ukwarcabinet, which covers the developments of World War II by tweeting the 1940 cabinet papers, is now inviting its followers to take over the project from next year.

Since the beginning of the year The National Archives has been tweeting the events of the Second World War, seventy years to the minute that they took place. The feed takes its thousands of followers back to the past so that they can experience in real time, the dramatic developments of a key historical era for Britain.

It was the Education and Outreach Team at The National Archives who came up with the idea of bringing archived information to a new audience. Each tweet links through to the original document which is available online, allowing people to seek out more detail from the government papers. It forms part of The National Archives’ work in opening up government information and making official records more accessible to the public.

To delve into the rich resources of The National Archives’ historical documents, followers are now being invited to directly contribute to the running of the feed. From January onwards participants can research and tweet extracts from the 1941 cabinet papers sending ‘live’ updates from behind the doors of Number 10 direct to a worldwide audience including; Allied victories in North Africa, the sinking of the Bismarck, Operation Barbarossa (Nazi invasion of Soviet Union) and the attack on Pearl Harbour which caused the entry of the USA into the war.

If you are interested in taking part, apply via the UK War Cabinet twitter feed.

Future plans
The Education team’s plans for the feed next year include a partnership with the US education organisation TwHistory, to make the content available using new online education tools they are developing for the classroom. The team is also opening up the data for use at a series of IT developer ‘hack’ days to be run throughout the year with a view to encourage the re-use of information generated by the feed. We’ll keep you posted…

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